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Masters Degrees (Prehistoric)

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The Archaeology MA inspires you to think about the human past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Newcastle is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. Read more

The Archaeology MA inspires you to think about the human past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Newcastle is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We make full use of our rich archaeological landscape with regular study trips and fieldwork.

The Archaeology MA has five specialist pathways and a generic route to suit your individual needs, background and career aspirations:

  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Greek Archaeology
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Roman Frontier Studies
  • Late Antique, Medieval and Byzantine Archaeology

Newcastle University has a long and distinguished history of archaeology, including:

  • Prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Roman
  • Late Antique
  • Western Medieval
  • Byzantine
  • Historical Archaeology

We have access to some of the finest collections of archaeological artefacts in Great Britain in the on-campus Great North Museum: Hancock.

We provide quality teaching in small groups. This means you'll reach a level of familiarity with artefacts that most students can only dream of.

We have a range of period-based, practical and theoretical modules available. Our modules will give you an understanding of the interpretive approaches that archaeologists adopt. They will also help you understand the methodologies and sources available during your investigations.

You can develop a range of advanced practical skills in:

  • artefact analysis, including metallography and use-wear analysis
  • archaeological surveying, including topographical, buildings and geophysical survey
  • database and archive use
  • geographical information systems (GIS)
  • ancient languages

You'll join a vibrant archaeology community at Newcastle. You'll receive specialist teaching from leading academics in subjects of their research expertise.

Throughout the course you'll have opportunities to engage and learn about our innovative research. We have an extensive programme of invited speakers organised by our research groups. Our Postgraduate Forum also has a seminar series, annual conference and e-journal.

The Archaeology MA provides you with outstanding skills and the ability to enter a range of professions. You will gain advanced skills in literacy, research and project management. You could also choose to continue your academic career with a PhD in archaeology.

Fieldtrips

The North East has an outstanding prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We take full advantage of this through regular study trips and fieldwork. You can also take optional modules with field trips to:

  • Rome 
  • Athens

The tuition of these trips is included in your course fees. If you select a module with an overseas trip you should budget about £450 to cover your flights and accommodation.

Delivery

All campus-based teaching takes place during the working week. Some field trips take place during holidays and weekends, depending on the modules taken. 

Contact and independent study times vary depending on the module and time of year.

Semesters one and two: You typically attend between 6 - 15 hours of teaching per week. The remaining hours of a standard week are for independent study.

Work experience

Work experience

There are many opportunities for you to gain archaeological experience outside your course. We'll encourage you to gain this experience whilst part of our archaeology community.

Staff carry out a wide range of archaeological projects. Most of our students participate in projects run in Newcastle and by partners in the UK and overseas.

Facilities

Facilities

Archaeologists have exceptional facilities on campus. This includes over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

You'll have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK. You can access the following internationally important collections:

  • prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Etruscan
  • Roman 
  • medieval artefacts
  • Gertrude Bell archive.

You'll be based in the recently renovated Armstrong Building. It has:

  • dedicated study spaces
  • Reading Room
  • computers
  • free printing
  • photocopying
  • laptops for research trips,

You'll also get a personal research allowance and an interlibrary loan allowance to support your studies.



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Explore human-environment interaction through the ages. This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. Read more
Explore human-environment interaction through the ages.

Why choose this course?

This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. It takes you beyond isolated archaeological sites, buildings or artefacts to explore their context in the wider landscape. You will investigate the varying lifeways of humans through the ages, and how people have interacted with the natural world since early prehistory.
-Study landscape archaeology from the perspective of human ecology – from early prehistory to the 19th century
-Explore topical issues ranging from human-environment interaction to rock art in the landscape
-Access the region’s rich natural resources for landscape study in the Yorkshire Moors, Dales and Wolds
-Learn from world-leading researchers in landscape archaeology
-Use the latest techniques to build key practical skills in surveying, GIS, geoarchaeology and aerial photography
-Receive careers and research advice from knowledgeable and experienced staff

What does the course cover?
The course explores the links between landscape theory and practice, and provides a broad foundation in the recognition, recording, interpretation and conservation of archaeological landscapes. The course comprises modules that assess the development of landscape archaeology and the range of approaches and methods employed in this increasingly important field of study. You will examine case studies from many different periods and areas around the world to understand different approaches to the study of landscape change.

Who is it for?
The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology is designed for students with an interest in how people have engaged with landscapes and the environment during the prehistoric and protohistoric periods. Students with a background in archaeology, physical geography, environmental science or history are particularly suited to this course.

What can it lead to?
This MA opens the door to a variety of archaeological and landscape heritage careers, as well as further research or PhD study.

Careers

Open the door to varied archaeological careers and research. The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology enables you to:
-Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to Landscape Archaeology
-Understand and critically assess the sources of information pertinent to the study of Landscape Archaeology
-Understand the fundamental concepts, techniques and current debates relevant to Landscape Archaeology
-Gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays under various conditions
-Undertake independent research on a topic within the field of Landscape Archaeology
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological and landscape conservation careers, as well as further study, research and academic careers.

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Explore what it means to be human. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, where we came from and how humans developed and adapted, the MA/MSc in Early Prehistory is for you. Read more
Explore what it means to be human

Why choose this course?

If you’re interested in what it means to be human, where we came from and how humans developed and adapted, the MA/MSc in Early Prehistory is for you. You will work alongside the UK’s foremost academics in early prehistory to delve into the origins of humanity and explore the evolution of cultures, customs, religions, art and technology. The flexible nature of the course enables you to pursue your own particular interests.

The archaeology of human origins is a fascinating and dynamic area of research, with new evidence and theories constantly changing our interpretation of who we are. The work of staff and researchers on this course regularly gains media attention, with recent studies of Neanderthal children and the origins of compassion attracting widespread coverage.
-Explore the archaeology and approaches to human origins
-Work alongside internationally renowned specialists in early prehistoric archaeology and human evolution
-Work on pioneering studies with the potential for significant media exposure
-Gain ‘hands on’ experience of museum collections at the York Museum
-Visit Upper Palaeolithic rock art on a field trip to Creswell Crags
-Choose modules to support your own research interests
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive advice on developing your career and research interests from knowledgeable staff

What does the course cover?
The course addresses fascinating questions such as: what makes us ‘human’? How did early human societies work? How different were Neanderthals from ourselves and why did they die out? What was life like in the Ice Age? We debate these questions and many others within a lively research environment as you build up your knowledge and experience of early prehistoric societies from three million to 5,000 years ago.

Who is it for?
This course is designed for anyone with an interest in human origins, human evolution and what defines us as a species. Most students taking the course have a degree in archaeology or a related subject. However, people with relevant experience or a passionate interest in the subject may also be admitted to the course.

What can it lead to?
This course does not lead directly to a specific vocation, but offers a broad range of essential skills and expertise, specialist knowledge and insight, which are relevant to a wide variety of careers or further study. Many of our students go on to pursue research at PhD level while others have taken up careers in heritage, conservation, the archaeology sector and academia.

Careers

By the end of your MA/MSc in Early Prehistory you will:
-Have developed an awareness of the scope of Early Prehistory and knowledge of key early prehistoric societies
-Be able to identify key transitions in human evolution
-Be aware of the issues of interpreting archaeological evidence for early prehistoric societies
-Have developed a critical understanding of the key debates in the period
-Have developed your ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays and producing projects
-Have undertaken a piece of independent research on a topic within early prehistory
-Have developed your presentational skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

The skills, knowledge and insights gained on the course can provide a launchpad for a wide range of archaeological and heritage careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to take up research degrees, academic posts and careers with prominent heritage, conservation and archaeological organisations.

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Students in this programme are trained to research these type of questions. This programme is part of the Master programme of Archaeology and builds on the knowledge and skills obtained in a BA programme of Archaeology. Read more
Students in this programme are trained to research these type of questions.

This programme is part of the Master programme of Archaeology and builds on the knowledge and skills obtained in a BA programme of Archaeology.

Within the programme four different tracks are available. These tracks have their specific core modules, but also share courses with the other tracks within our MA programme.

The track are:
- Prehistory and Protohistory in northwest Europe, with core modules Prehistoric Cultural Landscapes and Terp-mound Archaeology
- Bioarchaeology, with a core module of the same name
- Maritime Archaeology with a core module of the same name
- Arctic Archaeology, with the core module Sustainability at the Polar Regions

The first semester comprises one compulsory module, Archaeology Today, and two of the other modules named here. In the second semester there is the opportunity to do an internship or an advances GIS course. The final stage of the MA programme is a thesis.

Why in Groningen?

- flexible structure
- unique archaeobotanical and archaeozoological reference collections
- GIS and Material Culture laboratories
- all courses are taught in English
- close connections with Centre for Isotopes Research and Biology
- very low tuition fees
- a student friendly city

Job perspectives

Thanks to the Valetta Treaty on Archaeology, the job market in the Netherlands has been strong. These opportunities have now decreased, leading to a more diverse job market, within government and semi-government agencies, tourism, journalism and private enterprises. Archaeology is traditionally strong in obtaining grants for research projects, especially PhD projects.

The BA and MA programmes are strongly tied to the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA), which comprises the archaeological research of the University of Groningen.

GIA research is focused on:
- Prehistoric, protohistoric and historical archaeology in the Netherlands, the Mediterranean and the Arctics.
- Bioarchaeology: archaeobotany and archaeozoology
- Material culture studies, including conservation
- Landscape archaeology, including GIS-based studies

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The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research. Read more

The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research.

Choose Archaeology at Leiden University:

Our research master's programme offers interesting regional and thematic specialisation possibilities. It stimulates extra-talented and motivated students by exposing them to cutting edge research and making them part of it.

The programme helps you to find your own place in the wide world of archaeological careers, and equips you with all the 21st century professional and transferable skills you need.

Our research facilities and labs, field schools and excavation projects, experimental archaeology projects and the national research schools (ARCHON, OIKOS) offer excellent opportunities for every prospective researcher.

Research possibilities in 2018-2019:

Human Origins

Australopithecus africanus, one of our many ancestors

Interdisciplinary studies of the human past

This programme provides an in-depth interdisciplinary introduction in the European Palaeolithic record and its wider setting, from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene.

  • Study the archaeology of Prehistoric hunter-gatherers, from the earliest stone tools in East Africa, 2.6 million years old, to the end of the last ice age.
  • Focus on Neanderthal behaviour, and explore research questions, methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives in Palaeolithic archaeology.

Prehistoric Farming Communities

A view of past communities

The programme aims to develop a detailed and coherent view of past communities.

  • Focus on the later prehistory of Europe, especially on communities bordering the North Sea (Scandinavia, the Low Countries, France, Great Britain and Ireland).
  • Explore research topics such as Beaker cultures and settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultural identity, and burial ritual and (selective) deposition.

Town and Country in the Mediterranean Region and the Near East

The cradle of civilisation

This programme focuses on a region that has enormous culture-historical significance, and is a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period.

  • Study various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, as well as the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, as they occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.
  • Participate in current research projects. These projects focus on the Near East (modern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey) and Egypt, as well as the Mediterranean.

Religion and Society in Native American Cultures

Leiden Archaeology researchers used high-tech imaging to reveal rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Study the past in connection to the present

The programme offers an interdisciplinary context, where archaeology, anthropology, sciences, history, linguistics, landscape and heritage studies come together.

  • Gain a broad knowledge of and deep insight into Native American cultural history, focusing on the relationships between religious worldview and social agency.
  • Participate in field schools related to long-term research projects, such as excavations in the Caribbean or Nicaragua,including studies of material culture and physical anthropology.

Bioarchaeology

Fragments of a sabre-toothed cat skull where recenty excavated

Combine archaeology with hard science

Discover our four research disciplines, together covering an extensive geographical area and time range.

  • Opt for Archaeobotany and investigate changes in vegetation and environment during the past 2.6 million years, as well as the taphonomy of plant macrofossils in lacustrine and fluvial depositional settings.
  • Focus on Archaeo/Palaeozoology and dive into Eurasia in the period from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. Biostratigraphical studies, palaeo-ecological studies, as well as taphonomical studies are carried out.
  • Study Human Osteoarchaeology and analyse human remains from international archaeology contexts as well as behavioural and social facets of mortuary practices in past societies.
  • Explore Isope Archaeology and work on the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes of human and faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Learn how to carry out dating projects, including radiocarbon dating as well as other dating methods.

Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World

A new and exciting interdisciplinary approach

The programme focuses on the role of the past in the present. Explore the various aspects of recent developments in international politics, cultural tourism, the use of social media, and the revitalisation of local traditions and regional identities.

  • Develop the practical skills to translate academic research and social knowledge into strategies for heritage management, and pursue individual initiatives.
  • Benefit from our close association with the Center for Global Heritage and Development, an interdisciplinary cooperation between three high-ranking universities: Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft Technical University. This allows for a partnership between archaeology, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

The Transformation of the Roman World

Europe on the starting blocks

This programme offers an introduction to advanced studies of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Roman and Post-Roman times (c. 300-900 AD).

  • Analyse the economic recovery of North-Western Europe in Merovingian and Carolingian times, exchange networks in the Mediterranean, and agrarian innovation and water management in Jordan.
  • Study burial sites, the fate of Roman towns in the early Middle Ages, and centres of Christianity.

Master of Arts or Master of Science

Students who choose the Bioarchaeology track receive a Master of Science degree in Archaeology. For the other research tracks you receive a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology.



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Enhance your understanding of Archaeology by region and period, through a combination of taught modules and individual research in this flexible programme. Read more
Enhance your understanding of Archaeology by region and period, through a combination of taught modules and individual research in this flexible programme.

Renowned for our particular expertise in the British Isles, Europe and the Mediterranean area, our experts teach from the Neolithic through to the Celtic, Roman and Viking periods.

You will be able to critically assess the work of others and of your own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations. The wide-range of transferable skills acquired are a particular strength for the pursuit of careers outside of archaeology and the heritage sector.

In addition to our general MA Archaeology programme we offer three pathways to shape your studies. You can choose the pathway that best suits you. The pathway you choose will determine the modules you go on to study.

The three pathways are:

• European Neolithic
• Prehistoric Britain
• Early Medieval Society and Culture

Structure

This course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in 3 years by part-time study.

Taught Stage:

You will take two core modules (40 credits) and four optional modules (80 credits). The options you take will depend on the pathway you choose.

Dissertation Stage:

On successful completion of the taught course element you will go on to complete your dissertation (60 credits). This takes the form of an individual research project, resulting in a dissertation of around 20,000 words.

Core modules:

Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation
Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
MA Archaeology Dissertation

For a list of the optional modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/archaeology-ma

For a list of the optional modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/archaeology-ma-part-time

Teaching

You will be taught through a mix of seminars, lectures, tutorials and practicals in the archaeology laboratories.

As part of the programme, you will deliver presentations to your fellow MA students within our supportive community.

Assessment

Taught stage assessment is via essays, presentation and coursework.

On successful completion of the taught elements of the programme you progress to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a topic or theme of your choice (subject to the approval of your supervisor).

This self-regulated year of study is ideal preparation for progression to PhD.

Career prospects

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent destinations include: CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.

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If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. Read more
If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. We are lucky in the West Country to have prehistoric Dartmoor on our doorstep, where the recent Whitehorse Hill burial was uncovered. Exeter itself is a city built on Roman foundations and the nearby Ipplepen dig is shedding further light on Romano-British history. The Anglo-Saxons too were active in our part of the world and we have excellent interdisciplinary ties with the History Department and Centre for Medieval Studies. In the past there have been opportunities for Exeter students to participate in fieldwork and outreach activities in as diverse locations as Argentina, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, South Dakota and Texas. In some cases, fieldwork may consist of archaeological work in a museum rather than excavation.

The MA Archaeology programme is flexible, so you can choose the modules that interest you – including those on Experimental Archaeology, Human Osteoarchaeology and Zooarchaeology. If you’re interested in going on to doctoral study then our MA will give you the right training and our academic staff will be happy to support you through the process of funding applications.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study called 'modules' .

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Methods and Archaeological Theory; Field Study; Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment; Material Culture and Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer within our other Masters, some examples of these are; Advanced Project; Experimental Archaeology in Practice; Advanced Human Osteology; Zooarchaeology; Funerary Osteoarchaeology and Musculo-skeletal Anatomy

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Most of our teaching is done collaboratively in small groups because we feel this is the best way to help you develop. Your classes will be a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops where you will learn the methodology and practical skills you need. We have a range of specialist equipment and excellent facilities including laboratories, kiln room, and spaces for experimental archaeology.

Research areas

Our research at Exeter is world-leading and all our academic staff are actively engaged in both Britain and further afield. We are particularly unique for our expertise in the fields of Bioarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology. Our interests run from early prehistory through to the post-medieval period. Our geographic specialisations include the Americas, the British Isles, Europe, South Asia and North Africa.

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Material culture and artefact studies combines the archaeological recovery and specialist examination of an object with its presentation, management and understanding within a cultural context. Read more
Material culture and artefact studies combines the archaeological recovery and specialist examination of an object with its presentation, management and understanding within a cultural context.

Why this programme

◾This MLitt in Material Culture & Artefact Studies will prepare you to participate at both a practical and theoretical level within the field of specialist artefactual analysis.
◾You will be able to undertake a work placement to gain valuable work experience in a museum, archaeological unit or other cultural institution.
◾You will benefit from the involvement of staff from Glasgow Museums, National Museums Scotland and other institutions within Scotland, and will have the opportunity to work with collections from local museums, including the University’s own Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

Programme structure

The taught component consists of core courses and optional courses, running over two semesters.

Assessment is normally focused on written performance, but oral presentation skills and other modes of assessment allow you to develop your writing skills in a number of formats. This is in addition to the practical emphasis on developing your ability to interpret and analyse artefacts.

For the MLitt you can opt to do either a dissertation or an extended work placement (assessed by work placement eportfolio and either a research report or a student exhibition design).

Core courses
◾Material culture in context
◾The process of artefact studies.

Optional courses include modules such as:
◾Lithic analysis
◾Independent study
◾Critical themes in the display and reception of objects
◾Early medieval artefacts
◾Viking and late Norse artefacts (AD 750-1350).
◾Optional courses drawn from Archaeology or from other programmes across the University can be taken by agreement with the programme convener.

Career prospects

The two strands to the degree enable you to prepare for further doctoral research whilst also providing opportunities for valuable vocational experience in a commercial environment.

The wealth of experience and knowledge provided by the interdisciplinary nature and focus of the degree and the networks and relationships developed during their time here, has stood past graduates in good stead upon graduation. They have found full-time positions with Historic Scotland, Headland Archaeology Ltd, Guard Archaeology Ltd. While others are working with various heritage organisations and some are continuing with their postgraduate studies.

Several of our international graduates have found employment working at the Smithsonian, Washington D.C and at the Pink Palace Museum, Memphis Tennessee. Others continue to work in the Cultural Resource Management sector. Several students have gone on to further doctoral research at Glasgow University and beyond, on prehistoric stone tools, Shetland lace knitting, Bronze Age ceramics and medieval settlement..

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This course is designed to allow students to further their undergraduate interest in archaeology or a related subject, and to develop the skills and knowledge needed if they decided to undertake further research into the past. Read more
This course is designed to allow students to further their undergraduate interest in archaeology or a related subject, and to develop the skills and knowledge needed if they decided to undertake further research into the past. The modular degree scheme includes a choice of specialist modules in aspects of Celtic Archaeology, Theory and Interpretation in Celtic Archaeology and training modules to develop relevant skills.

The programme aims to deepen knowledge of archaeology beyond undergraduate level, with particular emphasis on Celtic archaeology. It provides the opportunity for students to specialise in a particular academic area, so as to gain a close understanding of the archaeological debates around it. The programme acquaints students with relevant archaeological theoretical issues and methods of interpretation and the use of evidence. It also provides the student with the necessary research skills to produce an original piece of work on a chosen topic, under supportive supervision.

Courses
ONE Special Option module chosen from the following:

The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Irish Sea Zone
Celtic Societies in Europe
The Archaeology of the Early Medieval Celtic Churches
Compulsory modules:

Theory and Interpretation in Celtic Archaeology
Initiating a Research Project
Various Skills Option module(s)
One 20,000 word dissertation

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The Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology MSc, run jointly by the Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology, brings together the expertise of the two departments to provide graduate students with an integrated training in the biological and archaeological aspects of human evolutionary studies. Read more
The Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology MSc, run jointly by the Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology, brings together the expertise of the two departments to provide graduate students with an integrated training in the biological and archaeological aspects of human evolutionary studies.

Degree information

Students gain training in research methods and a scientific grounding in the principles, content and practice of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology, including: fossil and archaeological evidence of human evolution; temporal and spatial patterns and processes of evolutionary and environmental change; and the evolutionary background for understanding human adaptation and culture.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (30 credits) four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules - all students are required to take the following:
-Themes in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology

Optional modules - students will be encouraged to select options from the following list up to the value of 60 credits. Alternatively, they may choose from the wider range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology or the Department of Anthropology.
-Advanced Human Evolution
-Archaeology of Early Human Origins
-Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
-Evolution of Human Brain and Behaviour
-Geoarchaeology
-Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
-Palaeoanthropology
-Primate Evolution
-Primate Socioecology
-Zooarchaeology in Practice

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, discussions, seminars, laboratory practicals and student presentations. Assessment is through essays, practical examination and seminar presentations, (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Careers

A significant number of the graduate students from this programme have gone on to take PhDs at UCL, elsewhere in the UK and in other countries. A number of those have been awarded prestigious scholarships to cover their costs. Other graduates have gone on to work in cultural resource management and museums, and others have used their skills to pursue careers in fields such as teaching and business.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Archaeologist, George Washington Foundation
-DPhil in Archaeology, The University of Oxford
-Senior scientist: archaeology, Tetra Tech
-Research Technician, Research Department Forensic Science.
-PhD Anthropology and Archaeology, Stockholms Universitet (Stockholm University)

Employability
The skills which students develop include the critical evaluation of scholarship across the discipline, design and management of personal research, primary data collection and analysis, and the preparation of detailed reports/dissertations up to publication standard. Although these will relate to anthropology and archaeology, they are invaluable skills for other areas of employment.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology have considerable staff expertise in the fields of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology. Staff and research students are currently involved in field projects as well as museum-based studies in Britain, various parts of Europe, the Middle East, and eastern and southern Africa.

Our excellent results in the recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) show that our two departments are both very highly ranked in the UK.

Situated in central London, the university is within easy access of the British Museum and Natural History Museum and their outstanding palaeontological and archaeological collections.

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The Archaeology MA is an intensive induction programme on current archaeological theory and interpretive trends which equips students to undertake research in their chosen field. Read more
The Archaeology MA is an intensive induction programme on current archaeological theory and interpretive trends which equips students to undertake research in their chosen field. The flexible programme of study serves as an excellent expansion of undergraduate studies or as a self-designed foundation for further postgraduate and professional work.

Degree information

The programme provides a wide-ranging introduction to archaeology as a comparative, anthropologically-informed, and socially-situated discipline. Students develop critically aware perspectives on archaeological practice and research processes and gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to the collection, analysis and interpretation of archaeological data. The programme is extremely flexible, with a wide choice of options available allowing students to tailor the programme to their own interests.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules - all students are required to take the following:
-Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
-Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues

Optional modules - students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 60 credits from an outstanding range of Master's programme options available at the UCL Institute of archaeology. Some of the most popular choices include:
-Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates
-Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
-Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
-Archaeology of Buddhism
-Archaeology and Education
-Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
-Archaeometallurgy: Metallic Artefacts
-Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory
-Beyond Chiefdoms: Archaeologies of African political complexities
-British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
-Funerary Archaeology
-Interpreting Pottery
-Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
-Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
-Maya Art, Architecture and Archaeology
-Medieval Archaeology: Select Topics and Current Problems
-Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
-Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
-The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies
-Rock Art Studies: Theories, Methods and Management

Dissertation/report
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The core module is seminar based, and the sessions are interactive, with an emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. The optional modules are delivered through seminars, lectures, practicals, laboratory sessions, tutorials, and site and museum visits, as appropriate for specific modules. Assessment is through essays, oral examination and the dissertation.

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued an incredibly wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology. Recent graduate career destinations include: excavator for a private archaeological contractor, education officer, and intern at a national museum. Several students each year normally continue on to PhD studies at UCL.

Top career destinations for this degree
-Doctoral Researcher, Graduate School of Human Development in Landscape
-Head of Corporate Legal, Fidelity
-Freelance Archaeologist, Murray Archaeological Services
-MPhil/PhD Archaeology, University College London (UCL)
-Humanities Lecturer, Cirencester College and studying PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector), Cirencester College

Employability
As the most general of the MA/MSc programmes, the experience and skills acquired depends on the optional modules selected, and how those skills are developed through assessed work, developing experise in the archaeology of specific regions, periods or themes, or specific field, museum and analytical skills. All students acquire a detailed understanding of specific theoretical debates and the critical skills to evaluate existing arguments and interpretations and to develop their own research, develop a range of research skills, and design and carry through original research. Taught from a comparative anthropological perspective, understanding cultural differences, in the past and present, is fundamental.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and one of the most highly regarded centres for archaeology, archaeological science, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain, highlighted by its top position in university assessments and National Student Survey results. It is one of the very few departments in the world undertaking research on a truly global scale. Its degrees offer an unrivalled variety of modules. The institute hosts events on many different aspects of archaeology and is linked to heritage organisations, museums and archaeological societies, providing an outstanding research environment for students.

It is truly international in outlook and membership, with students and staff from over 40 countries, and involvement in field research projects around the world.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. UCL's own museums and collections constitute a resource of international importance for research.

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This MA provides training in the documentation and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections. Students benefit from a placement within a museum or an archaeological unit where experience will be gained in the practice of finds analysis. Read more
This MA provides training in the documentation and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections. Students benefit from a placement within a museum or an archaeological unit where experience will be gained in the practice of finds analysis.

Degree information

Students are introduced to the skills of finds specialists, practical issues of artefact study, and debates about the collection, interpretation, reporting and curation of archaeological materials. They develop the ability to evaluate different approaches to artefact studies and undertake the cataloguing and analysis of an artefact assemblage.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research project (90 credits).

Core modules - all students are required to take the following:
-Working with artefacts and assemblages
-Technology within Society

Optional modules - students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 60 credits from an outstanding range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. For this degree, some of the most popular choices include:
-Antiquities and the Law
-Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
-Archaeological Glass and Glazes
-Archaeometallurgy I: Mining and Extractive Metallurgy
-Archaeometallurgy II: Metallic Artefacts
-Art: Interpretation and Explanation
-British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
-Experimental Archaeology
-Funerary Archaeology
-Geoarchaeology
-Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
-Interpreting Pottery
-Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
-Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
-Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
-Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis

Dissertation/report
The 15,000–word dissertation normally combines a professional standard finds report with an academic overview.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through formal lectures, seminars and practical sessions. It can include a placement at a relevant museum or archaeological unit where students gain experience in the practical study and the recording of an artefact assemblage. Assessment is through an essay, a portfolio, a project proposal and the dissertation.

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued a very wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology. The main career path is working as assistants, museum curators or working in the antiquities service recording finds.

Top career destinations for this degree
-Project Team Officer, English Heritage
-Archaeologist, Museum of London Archaeology
-Museum Building Manager, Hainan and Haopioen Arts Museum
-Artefacts Assistant, Maidstone Council
-Freelance Numismatist, Self-Employed Numismatist

Employability
The degree is tailored to give graduates a solid grounding in systematically recording and documenting artefacts as well as analysing artefact assemblage. They will also have a basic understanding of creating graphs and diagrams, and analysing and assembling finds-catalogues. Without concentrating on any specific epoch, we give students the tools for understanding and systematically analysing any artefact assemblages.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Whether you plan a career as finds assistant, museum curator or plan a materials based PhD, this course provides you with the skills you need to successfully identify, describe and document artefacts and analyse assemblages. The emphasis of the course is very much on practical application, so there will be numerous handling sessions and praxis-related tasks.

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study. Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries. UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library.

UCL's own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research. Students will work on material from the institute's collection as part of their assessment. Past students on this programme have made effective use of the resources at the British Museum, the Museum of London and the Museum of London archives, the Petrie Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and other British and international museums. The Wolfson Labs provide a unique facility for scientific analyses of materials and have been used by numerous artefact students for their dissertations after the required training.

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The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. Read more

The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. You’ll analyse contemporary theoretical approaches, hone your skills in current methodologies and take advantage of the specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, and those in history and classics, can offer.

You’ll develop an understanding of specific regions and periods, current theories, methodologies and major research issues, all of which provide the basis for a PhD or future participation in excavation, survey and/or lab work.

Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and expertise and practical advice from staff in commercial companies.

Programme structure

You will complete six courses over the course of the programme, which culminates in the production of your independently researched dissertation.

The compulsory course is:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include:

  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Archaeology of Gender
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The Archaeology of the Byzantine Empire and its Neighbours AD 500–850
  • Constantinople and the Cities of Asia Minor
  • Early Farmers of Cyprus and the Near East
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000–300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus;
  • Greek Vase Painting
  • Hellenistic Art and Archaeology
  • Human Evolution
  • The Hittites: the Archaeology of an Ancient Near Eastern Civilisation
  • Island Worlds: Prehistoric Societies in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Late Antique Visual Culture
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Roman Imperial Monuments.

You may also be able to choose a course from any of the non-archaeology taught masters programmes that relate to your study.

Learning outcomes

The programme will help you develop potential research interests and explore these with a view to progressing to research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills, including:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Career opportunities

This programme equips you to go on to advanced study and provides a solid foundation for a career. You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.



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Research profile. The MSc by Research in Archaeology is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research. Read more

Research profile

The MSc by Research in Archaeology is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.

The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.

Archaeology at Edinburgh has a tradition going back to the 19th century. Many aspects of that tradition are still visible in the School today: our archaeological collections were named to commemorate the great prehistorian and first holder of the Abercromby Chair Vere Gordon Childe; the annual series of Munro lectures in archaeology and anthropology were endowed in 1910 by Dr Robert Munro, a distinguished medical practitioner who, in his later life, became a keen archaeologist; and the Abercromby Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology commemorates Lord Abercromby, author of distinguished research on Bronze Age pottery.

Edinburgh’s great tradition in prehistory continues to this day, with expertise in Britain, the Mediterranean and the Near East, but we also have strengths in Classical and Byzantine archaeology, in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

We are happy to supervise across the wide range of our research interests: we have particular strengths in prehistory of Europe, the Mediterranean and Near East, in classical and early medieval archaeology, as well as in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

Facilities

Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.

Graduate students enjoy access to:

  • a large and attractive study and computing lab, equipped with printing, copying and scanning facilities, plus two further study rooms that provide shared desk space
  • student research rooms, housing some of the School’s impressive book collections and additional IT facilities
  • teaching rooms fitted out with the latest technology
  • exhibition areas, filled with artefacts, artwork, statues, busts and casts from the School’s many collections
  • a stunning common room, used by staff as well as graduate students

All of our facilities are in addition to the multiple libraries and computer labs provided across the University’s estate. Many of our rooms overlook the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces.

Archaeology students benefit from our laboratories for artefact analysis, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology, bone chemistry and computing (with a wide range of software applications).

There is an extensive reference collection of archaeological materials, such as pottery, metal, stone and glass artefacts, in the V Gordon Childe teaching collection.

You can also benefit from the facilities, archives, collections and expertise of a range of heritage agencies and commercial archaeology units based in the city of Edinburgh.

Programme structure

A long dissertation of 30,000 words is the sole form of assessment, but you will also attend compulsory training courses and may take other relevant courses.

Career opportunities

The programme’s focus on research under supervision makes this degree suitable for those contemplating doctoral study, whether in our own School or elsewhere, and many who take this degree follow that route. But undertaking a substantial and independent research and writing project is equally an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.



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If you wish to pursue research in any period of Greek Archaeology, from Prehistoric to Hellenistic, and have a good grounding in the field of your proposed research project, this programme will give you essential training in method and practice in the Greek context. Read more
If you wish to pursue research in any period of Greek Archaeology, from Prehistoric to Hellenistic, and have a good grounding in the field of your proposed research project, this programme will give you essential training in method and practice in the Greek context.

Including a research methods taught module and two modules in appropriate subject areas, the programme aims to complement your existing knowledge and inform your chosen research topic.

The main component of this degree is the 20,000-word research dissertation on a topic of your choice. We recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor before applying.

In addition, you will take 60 credits of taught modules.

Research Methods (20 credits)
Greek Archaeology - with special emphasis on the period/area of your dissertation topic (20 credits)

and either

The Practice of Greek Archaeology - with a focus on Theory or Scientific and Environmental Methods as appropriate to your interests (20 credits)

Or

Modern Greek for Archaeologists, from beginners level to enable you to use primary materials published in Greece in your future research (20 credits).

About the School of History and Culture

The programmes in the School of History and Cultures offer students enquiry based learning within a rich and diverse environment to stimulate debate and challenge conventional thinking.
The programmes derive from departments which are all excellently rated by the QAA both in teaching and research terms (Medieval History 5, Modern History 5 and African Studies 5*). Our staff publish widely, and we are developing and consolidating a strong, supportive research culture in the School.
We are extremely proud to announce in June 2016, that History at Birmingham was ranked the top research department in the country by the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The national REF exercise assessed research publications and the public impact of research carried out in all universities in the UK between 2008-2014. Our department had an impressive 45% of its research judged to be ‘world-leading’.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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